Weekly Sermon Brief: November 8, 2015, “DONE!” , Hebrews 9:24-24

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So many of us become trapped in the “Shift Work” of life.  We work our shift only to begin again and find that spiritual fatigue subtly steals your joy.  The life in Christ can give us a moment to get off the hamster wheel and find a new focus through Christian spirituality-not more stuff but more faith!
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.  You have heard this saying your whole life.  It is a fact of nature and economy-everything you have has been paid for.  Either you worked for it or someone else did, but there is no free lunch. This is the cycle of sin in our lives when we try to free ourselves with our own effort.
This saying comes from the New York City taverns in the late 1800’s.  If you came in and bought a beverage, lunch was free!  Lunch was also salty ham, crackers, pretzels and other salty food which, of course, made the customer thirsty for another beverage.  Lunch was not free-it was built in to the sale of the drinks!  You ate yourself thirsty again and again!  This sales tactic was so effective it was outlawed.  The liquid lunch was cutting into commerce and city services!  After such a lunch nothing could be done and many employees lost their jobs.  This free lunch was very expensive but they paid over and over again.
Our salvation covenant is paid for also but instead of a self absorbed and self destructive, Jesus the Christ paid our way at the cross.  In Christ we are constructed and not torn down.  Salvation is not free but it has not cost we can afford.  Jesus paid.  That is it.  DONE.
Yet…. our work as disciples, followers, students of Christ is NOT done.  We are redeemed by Christ-literally we have been released from the destructive cycle of the free lunch of sin and its destruction.  We are called to discover and grow in our faith.  We are called to do things that make us closer to Christ and not do things that obstruct our view of redemption.  The writer of Hebrews gives us a view of how this worked in the daily living of those first readers.
The worship of those days involved creating copies of heavenly things.  The patterns of the priest offering a sacrifice to take away sin had to be done over and over and over.  Christ sacrificed himself once and for all!  He suffered once and for all.  He died and rose once and for all.  And finally leaves us with the hope of his reappearing to finish the work he started.  No never ending cycle but a relationship with the God of all creation who has paid for our forgiveness once and for all.  In Jesus Christ, it is done.
We live in a faint copy of the heavenly things but our life in Christ is training for the real thing.  The rules described earlier in this chapter are the laws of the desert and not the law of the temple.  Christ is the living faith in our every breath and wooing us like those inn-keepers of old.  Jesus wants you strong, confident and bold.
Do you ever feel you are caught in a  never ending cycle of unresolved doing?  Do you feel the fatigue, the blindness and being sleepy when awake, Awake when you
should be sleeping, self feeding feeling of defeat?  This is not the life that Christ died for.  You are meant for joy!   The antidote is faith and that faith is not a do-it-yourself project.  Christ has a rich drink of cold water for you.
Jesus is the real deal-A remedy for the real world.  HE is the way, truth and the life and not a never ending cycle of following rules and religious actions to achieve a salvation that is already paid for.  He breaks the cycle of self-salvation for all who will simply follow HIM.  The Jews had been practicing the law for hundreds of generations, had it right, yet exchanged their relationship with doing a law that was impossible to keep.  They wandered until they discovered Grace again.  Jesus brought this saving, living grace to us all at the cross.
This was done and completed in Christ , so that we may serve the living God!  Not caught in a cycle of doing things to “get saved”,  Jesus has finished that work.  But using our faith as a way of growing for ourselves and witnessing as others.  Prayer, Disciplined time, disciplined space,  and church worship will not save us but it will lead us to that growing awareness of the one who can.
These are individual things but the life in Christ is Lived out in community.  We at CMUMC NEED OUR CHURCH FAMILY and are working  with our vision Statement: “Following, serving and unifying”. However, following alone is self serving, adding the church it become “Iron sharpening Iron” and growth for all.  Serving alone is doing good things but when you add this to our church life, it becomes a powerful dual witness, both for the excitement of the church family and the community.  unifying alone gives us that single mind of Christ-Focus.  But in the church I becomes We and a testament to the power of the Christ covenant to the world. Here is where faith is born and reborn as we search together and “eagerly wait for Christ to be more and more real.
Death is a part of live but death has no sting to we who are in Christ.  We are born to live for Christ here and eternally hereafter.   Christ sacrificed himself once, for all and delivers us to freedom through complete forgiveness.  But before that great and glorious day we are created for Growth, Sanctification, and Good Works.   Done with this ” unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace”, the life in Christ changes you and in you changes the world.

This post is a follow-up to our sermon from last Sunday and I pray it touches your heart and that you have a church to be “Welcome Home”.  If you don’t, please click on the link below and check out our Family.  We would love to welcome you whenever you find yourself in our corner of East Texas.  Come and see us!

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